This raised a lot of eyebrows in one of the most liberal corners of the country.
At an interfaith breakfast Tuesday, Mayor Eric Adams seemed to regret the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling that banned school-sponsored prayer in 1962.
“When we took prayers out of schools, guns came into schools,” Adams said to applause from hundreds of religious leaders gathered at an annual event in Manhattan.
Adams was discussing the role that people who attend synagogues, churches, Sikh temples and mosques could play in reducing societal ills from homelessness to domestic violence.
“Don’t tell me about no separation of church and state.State is the body, church is the heart. You take the heart out of the body, the body dies,” Adams said.
A mayoral spokesperson said after the event Adams“personally believes all of our faiths would ensure we are humane to one another.” The spokesperson accused reporters asking whether Adams did not support the separation of church and state of attempting to “hijack the narrative in an effort to misrepresent the mayor’s comments.”
Adams made the remarks immediately following his chief advisor, Ingrid Lewis-Martin, who is a Christian chaplain.
“We know in government, many times,it is said that one has to separate church from state, but we have an administration that doesn’t believe in that,” Lewis-Martin said. “We have a mayor, who you will hear from shortly, who is definitely one of the chosen.”
The New York Civil Liberties Union blasted the speeches. “We are a nation and a city of many faiths and no faith,” said NYCLU’s Donna Lieberman. “In order for our government to truly represent us, it must not favor any belief over another, including non-belief,” she said.